Why Trump is likely to care less about Palestinians than any other president to precede him

"Since the 1970's, every administration has taken a weaker and weaker position towards the [Israeli] settlements"

By Alexandra Rosenmann
Published May 20, 2017 3:29PM (EDT)
 (AP/Kathy Willens)
(AP/Kathy Willens)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.


As President Donald Trump recently held a joint press conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House, world-renowned linguist, activist and prolific author Noam Chomsky weighed in on Palestine's uncertain future under Trump.

According to Chomsky, the Trump administration's Middle East politics represent, in many ways, America's next logical step in relinquishing support for Palestinian civil rights.

"Since the 1970's, every administration has taken a weaker and weaker position towards the [Israeli] settlements," Chomsky said in an interview with Arab American Institute Deputy Director Omar Baddar.

"Around the United States was supporting Security Council resolutions, voting for them, saying that the settlements are illegal even one saying the settlements should be disbanded (465, March 1, 1980)."

This softening U.S. position on Israeli-Palestinian conflict has also been overwhelmingly non-partisan, Chomsky notes. In fact, just before Trump took office, The Guardian reported President Obama had been "the most pro-Israel president since Truman," despite Obama's obvious contempt for Benjamin Netanyahu.

On the other hand "you say [Trump's] appointing [David] Friedman [for U.S. Ambassador to Israel] is kind of extraordinary...  this guy's way to the right of Netanyahu," pointed Chomsky with regards to Baddar's question of Friedman's extremism potentially affecting U.S.-Isreal relations.

Meanwhile, Trump claimed brokering Middle East peace "maybe not as difficult as people have thought"; echoing the oblivion prior to his first foray into heatlh care law.

"The [two or one-state] discussion of this topic, I think, is extremely misleading," Chomsky added, which is "either a two-state settlement in accord with the international consensus, which U.S. officially, more or less, agrees to, or else one-state, in which Palestinians can fight for civil rights in an anti-apartheid struggle, and Israel has to be concerned about the so-called demographic problem."

But a third option is, in fact, the one being pursued now.

"That's the creation of a Greater Israel which is slowly incorporating into Israel.. as much of the West Bank as Israel finds useful and important, not just settlements, but also a vast infrastructure projects," explained Chomsky. "The Palestinian population concentrations are excluded, that along with the policy of slow expulsion."

President Trump recently announced plans to visits Israel on his first foreign trip later this month.

Alexandra Rosenmann

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Alternet Donald Trump Mahmoud Abbas Noam Chomsky Palestine